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Peer Review

MERLOT ELIXR: Sharing Faculty Stories Community Portal

by Thomas Carey , Gerry Hanley , Lou Zweier , Season Eckardt


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 27, 2011 by Faculty Development
Overview: MERLOT ELIXR is a high-quality digital collection of faculty teaching stories that can be used in faculty development programs and also accessed by individual instructors. The site contains over 70 discipline-specific multimedia stories which were developed in collaboration with over 30 higher education institutions across the U.S. and beyond. They illustrate exemplary teaching practices and inspire faculty to adopt those practices with their students. Topics include Course Preparation & Design, Understanding & Addressing Students’ Needs, Teaching Strategies, Technology &Learning, Developing Instructional Expertise, and Assessment & Evaluation. In addition to the video case stories, there are excellent implementation resources related to the specific teaching topic.
Type of Material: Streaming video with text and other supporting resources
Recommended Uses: For use in Face-to Face Faculty Development Workshops: •Cases can be previewed prior to a workshop. •Facilitator can show a case story to demonstrate a point and/or lead into an exercise. •Facilitator can have participants get into groups and have each group review a case story and respond to questions. Cases can serve as examples of a pedagogical approach during a consultation. •Links to cases can be provided in workshop materials as a suggested resource. •Cases can be used prior to a consultation with a faculty member for preview, during a consultation to demonstrate a strategy in action and share the resource, or after a consultation for review. Other ideas includes: •New faculty can be sent links to key case stories to prepare them for New Faculty Orientation. •Cases can be sent to faculty as orientation for new ventures. •Cases can be integrated into an online workshop.
Technical Requirements: Ability to play Flash streaming audio and video.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To support faculty development efforts with college faculty in a wide variety of topics.
Target Student Population: Faculty at the college level or perhaps at the secondary level.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some teaching experience would be desirable.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The organization of the content in the modules is logical and the content itself is quite interesting. Resources were linked into each module and sub-module that related directly to the topic. The enthusiasm of the participants is motivating.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The most effective use of these resources will be in supplementing face-to-face faculty development workshops where the facilitator can provide context and added depth, and lead discussion.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The cases are well designed. Videos include closed-caption options and a transcript. Videos play quickly and clearly. The layout is attractive.
Concerns: Better navigation controls are desirable. A video timeline would help.